Background: It is unclear to what extent a board certification system and implementation of clinical guidelines improves the quality of hepatectomy. Methods: A web-based questionnaire survey was administered to departments registered with the National Clinical Database (NCD) in Japan between 1 October 2014 and 31 January 2015. Quality indicators (QIs), including affiliations with academic societies, numbers of board-certified doctors affiliated with each institute, and adherence to clinical practice guidelines for hepatocellular carcinoma, were evaluated by calculating risk-adjusted odds ratios (AORs) for 90-day postoperative mortality of patients who had undergone hepatectomy in 2013 and 2014. Results: Of 1255 departments that had registered at least one hepatectomy in NCD, 592 departments, performing 8601 hepatectomies in total, responded to the questionnaire. AORs were significantly lower in departments that were certified as training hospitals by the Japanese Society of Gastroenterological Society, Japanese Society of Hepato-Biliary-Pancreatic Surgery (JSHBPS), and Japan Society of Hepatology than in non-certified departments. Affiliation of three or more JSHBPS-certified experts or instructors with an institution also contributed to low AORs. None of the QIs regarding implementation of guidelines significantly impacted on the AOR. Conclusions: Quality indicator measurements may improve quality of post-hepatectomy outcomes in Japan.
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